Date: 1st April 2008 at 12:15pm
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Unfortunately, Roma know what they are talking about. They are aware of the fact that though United are intimidating at Old Trafford, they are often like rabbits caught in headlights away from home.

Perhaps this is the area where we have improved most in the past two years: the attacking sparkle is yet to be found away from Old Trafford on the European stage but finally, we are hard to break down, with that one glaring exception in Milan.

Still, Roma do count on our weakness away from home and they do that with good reason.

‘United are the best team in the world, but it’s a long time since they got a very important win abroad,’ coach Luciano Spalletti claimed and unfortunately, he’s quite right.

‘They’re fantastic at Old Trafford, but they never dominate a match away. They are very good on the counter-attack, but they aren’t good at controlling games.

‘There will be no gifts from us, on or off the pitch, because we gave United too many last time. There will be no wine and fewer goals, and we will make sure we turn the Stadio Olimpico into a fortress for the visit of United.’


It is unlikely that we will go all out attack tonight. Fergie is already talking of the importance of defending well – in other words, he wants to survive this game and then blitz them at Old Trafford.

While that could work, it would be important to throw down the gauntlet in Europe, too. A same lesson in counter-attacking that we gave to Arsenal in the Emirates, without the dodgy defending, would go a long way of easing United fans’ worries about the team’s ability to cope away from home.